Metro to sell Real
The Düsseldorf retail group Metro disclosed yesterday that it intends to dispose of its Real hypermarket chain. Real currently has 282 superstores and 65 properties in Germany. Metro Group viewed Real as a “problem child”; however, Metro CEO Olaf Koch has stated that the superstore has successfully revitalized its brick-and-mortar business, referring to the “market hall” concept which is currently being implemented in 19 stores and rolled out to other branches. Koch repeatedly described Real’s high salaries in comparison with competitors as one of its biggest problems. A few months ago Metro split off Real’s operating business in order to facilitate a collective wage agreement more favorable to the company. The sale of its last retail subsidiary would make Metro a pure wholesaler. Yesterday’s announcement was preceded by dramatic changes involving shareholders: Haniel, a major shareholder for decades, left the company in August and sold its shares to the Czech energy entrepreneur Daniel Kretinsky.
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